Haiku for You
What is Haiku?
A Haiku is a poetic form that has three lines. The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third line has five syllables like the first. It originated in Japan over a thousand years ago.
Geese fly overhead
Uplifting sight, which I missed
Originally haiku meant a poem of this form about something in nature, but it has now come to mean any poem of the form described above. For example, years ago I wrote three haiku about the superbowl:
Super Bowl Haiku 1
Dolts squander millions
On a thirty second spot
Selling beer to apes
Super Bowl Haiku 2
Super Bowl Haiku 3
Spectacle of greed
Sloth, gluttony, violence
The first one was published at wbur.org, web site of our local public radio sports show, "Only a Game." The second one is more at the role of the poet-as-prophet (rather than poet for profit) decrying society's ills. The third is a bait and switch kind of humor.
I like writing them. In fact I will write one now:
Loudly of democracy:
Leaves fall in color
Beneath a black and white sky
Winter is coming
A Japanese woman once read Haiku at an annual poetry event I help run. She read each poem twice. I am not sure if that is the authentic style of reading a haiku, or if it was her own style.
Haiku is a useful form to build poetic discipline with results that can turn out quite funny or quite moving and thought-provoking. All in all a most interesting form that has been especially popular for the past 200 years.
You should try it!
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